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Old Globe’s Autism-friendly ‘Grinch’ Performance to be SoCal First

Reposted from the Los Angeles Times

July 23, 2012

The Old Globe in San Diego will hold a special autism-friendly performance of its annual holiday production of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The performance at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 15, which is geared toward individuals on the autism spectrum, will be the first of its kind to be produced by a major theater company in Southern California.

The performance will feature “slight adjustments” to the regular production, such as fewer loud noises and flashing lights, according to the Old Globe. The theater lobby will serve as a quiet area, and the theater will provide on-site volunteers to assist families. Ticket prices will be the same as the regular run of “Grinch.”

Roberta Wells-Famula, director of education at the Old Globe, said the company was inspired by the Autism Theatre Initiative that was launched last year by New York’s Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit group that provides support for stage productions.

The Theatre Development Fund has organized autism-friendly performances of Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins” on Broadway.

Wells-Famula said the Old Globe performance isn’t part of the development fund program, but the New York organization will act as an advisor to the Old Globe. She said the Old Globe is modeling the performance on what TDF has done with“The Lion King”and “Mary Poppins.”

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